Archive | March 2016

Can we ever escape technology?

could you live without technology.jpg

I was reading Elly’s blog post titled ‘IS THERE SUCH THING AS ESCAPING TECHNOLOGY’ and this got me thinking back to when I was in primary school and we didn’t have the technology that we use today.  However we still managed to get by as though we didn’t need these new forms of technology such as iPads and smartphones that are used in the 21st century.  Even though we seemed to manage without all of these new digital devices that we use today I look back to those days now; before technology and I sit here and think how did we ever get by without our smartphones, digital cameras and iPads etc.  As Elly mentioned in her post she went away on a road trip and was trying to have a technology free holiday and didn’t realise how near to impossible this was.

I can definitely relate to Elly’s post, as I have had a few holidays overseas where I wanted to have a technology free holiday, however this did not occur.  For example when I visited Japan in 2014 I took advantage of the free wifi that was available in most cafes around Japan at every opportunity I could.  This was just to send emails back home to friends and family who I was missing in order to stop me from feeling homesick.  I guess not being totally free from technology isn’t such a bad thing though, as in my situation it helped me stay connected with people in a different country.

I found a really interesting article titled ‘Could you live without technology?’  This article has a really interesting YouTube video in it where people that have had brain injuries define how technology has helped them through their recoveries (Taylor, 2013).  This got me thinking that maybe it is not such a bad thing that technology has advanced so much in the 21st century and also that maybe escaping technology isn’t necessarily a good thing.

 

References

 

Could you live without technology [Image] (2013).  Retrieved from

http://blog.scholastic.com/ink_splot_26/technology-writing-prompt.html

 

Taylor, C.  (2013).  Could you live without technology?.  Retrieved March 25th, 2016, from

http://reasondigital.com/advice-and-training/could-you-live-without-technology/

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This entry was posted on March 25, 2016. 2 Comments

Have digital technologies turned us into an anti-social society?

technology hasn't changed us.jpg

After reading Elly’s blog post titled ‘Are digital technologies making us anti-social?’  I was led to think about this question a little more thoroughly.  I had actually been meaning to answer this question a while ago when I first came across it in the learning paths, however I hadn’t quite got around to it till now.  My first initial thought when I came across this question was yes they absolutely are, but then I answered that one question quiz and was quite astonished to find out that the answer was no.  This made me decide to do some further research into this question to see what other people’s answers to this question was.

I absolutely agree with the article that Elly found titled ‘Technology Doesn’t Make Us Less Social; It Just Changes The Way We Socialise’.  This leads me to explain the picture at the top of this post.  The picture is captioned with the statement that technology hasn’t changed us.  I agree with this statement to some extent, as it shows that technology wasn’t always needed to seem as though people were anti-social.  People still found ways to read the news in the presence of other people using other resources such as the newspaper.

However technology has changed the way we connect with people.  As we are now able to connect with people through resources such as email, on Facebook and Twitter, through sms texts on our smartphones and even through Skype.  All of these new forms of technologies have made it easier and more efficient to connect with people around the world.  To me this doesn’t seem anti-social.  Instead it just seems as though people are being social through technology.  Technology has also made it easier to further our learning, as learning through the use of technology means that learning can be done at anytime and anywhere, as online resources mean that learning can be self-motivated and self-directed (Tan, 2014).

I now believe that technology hasn’t made us anti-social; instead it has just changed the way people socialise, which was outlined in the article that Elly posted on her blog recently.  Because of this I believe that technology has brought about a change for the better.  I found a really good article, which can be found here that describes how technology has made us better social beings.  I would love to know what everyone else’s point of view is on this topic and whether your view on this topic has changed like mine has since participating in the EDC3100 course this semester.

 

References

Gambino, M.  (2011).  How technology has made us better social beings.  Retrieved March

23, 2016, from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-technology-

       makes-us-better-social-beings-28986845/?no-ist

 

People reading the newspaper [Image].  (2014).  Retrieved from

https://ashleytan.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/technology-and-change/

 

Tan, A.  (2014).  Technology and change.  Retrieved March 23, 2016, from

https://ashleytan.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/technology-and-change/

The challenges of assignment 1 for EDC3100

When I first heard about having to complete an ICT checklist to evaluate an ICT lesson plan as part of assignment 1; I thought to myself that this assignment probably won’t be too hard.  My first thoughts led to this point of view because of the fact that it’s not an assignment that requires us to write a big long essay using scholarly sources.  However since working through the checklist I have now realized that it’s a lot more challenging than I first thought it would be.  The fact that I haven’t heard about some of the ICT resources listed on the checklist has added to that difficulty.  Luckily google has been my best friend throughout this assignment, as a quick search in google to find out what each resource actually is and does has really been my saving grace throughout this part of assignment 1.

After reading Kylie’s blog post titled ‘My lesson plan for assignment 1 – EDC3100’ it is clear to me that I’m not the only one who has found the ICT evaluation checklist a little bit challenging and it’s nice to know that I am not alone.  I guess in a way it’s a good thing that it’s been challenging, as I have learned a lot as I complete the checklist and I have also shown myself that I can challenge myself and still come out on top. Just out of curiosity I was searching online for other types of ICT evaluation forms for evaluating a lesson that incorporates ICT into it.  One that I found that I thought seemed quite simple to understand and complete can be found here.  Just in case your interested that is.  My other reason for sharing this link is because of the fact that it could be a checklist you could use in the future as a future teacher when wanting to evaluate a lesson that incorporates the use of ICTs in your classroom.

I hope everyone has success completing the checklist for assignment 1.  I also hope that you’ve all learned as much as I have as you complete the rest of assignment 1.  Have a happy and safe Easter everyone. I hope you all get a chance to relax and unwind after a busy start to the semester.

This entry was posted on March 22, 2016. 1 Comment

Toddlers using iPads

child-with-ipad-ogrady.jpg

I was recently reading Carleigh’s Blog post titled ‘The future,’ which talked about how 2 year olds can use an iPad.  In Carleigh’s post she mentions how this amazes her.  I agree with Carleigh, as it is amazing how a child so young can use technology so easily and I think that a toddler can definitely benefit from using an iPad.  For example as they play educational games for instance language, literacy, social and cognitive development may be fostered. Here’s some YouTube videos of toddlers using an iPad with ease just to prove how readily technology is used in the 21st century by young children.  These YouTube videos can be accessed here and here.

Upon doing further research I discovered a website that talked about some positive aspects of young children using iPads.  These include research that has established that many iPad apps improve young children’s maths skills and vocabulary and for children that experience cognitive delays iPad apps have been proven to enhance language use and social interaction.  Another positive aspect to young children utilizing the iPad is that interactive games that they play on the iPad will promote creativity  (Kids and iPads: The Pros and Cons, n.d.).

This website also specifies that a child should not sit down to play the iPad for hours on end (Kids and iPads: The Pros and Cons, n.d.).  However a small amount of time playing an educational game on the iPad is going to be beneficial for a toddler’s development overall.  Since the use of digital technology for educational purposes is becoming the way of the future I think that it’s a good thing that toddlers are able to use iPads so easily.  However I do still think that they should be used to enhance or amplify a child’s education alongside other resources.

 

References

Child on the iPad [Image].  (2012).  Retrieved from  http://parenttechorg.blogspot.com.au

       /2012/05/should-toddlers-use-ipads.html

 

Kids and iPads: The Pros and Cons.  (n.d.).  Retrieved March 18, 2016, from

       http://www.whattoexpect.com/toddler/ask-heidi/kids-and-ipads-the-pros-and-cons

This entry was posted on March 18, 2016. 1 Comment

EcoMuve supporting scientific learning

This weeks learning paths introduced me to the idea of EcoMuve.  EcoMuve is a 3D virtual world that has been established to help students develop a deeper understanding about ecosystems and the changes that occur in these ecosystems overtime (Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2015).  There is a really good video that explains EcoMuve and some more information about this virtual learning tool on the EcoMuve website.  This website can be found here.  After watching the video that explained what EcoMuve is and what students can do in this virtual scientific game I was quite excited and interested in the idea of virtual games for educational purposes.

Before I started EDC3100 I had the opinion that too much use of ICTs could have a negative affect on the children’s learning.  However each week my views have begun to change as I work through the learning paths and read other EDC3100 student’s blog posts.  I am now starting to see a whole heap of benefits on how ICTs can support the learning of students in all learning areas.  EcoMuve is a good example of this.  This is because through the engagement in this learning tool students can develop skills that they are required to develop as part of the Australian curriculum science strand.  These include science inquiry skills including investigating, collecting and analyzing data. It also requires students to make important scientific decisions and aids in students learning about living things and the environment and changes that occur on earth (ACARA, 2009).  This just proves that students can learn the skills required of them in the curriculum from the use of ICTs.

In Miss Galea’s Blog it is stated that she believes that EcoMuve is a good learning tool for students learning about relationships in the environment and consequently can certainly have a useful place for learning in the classroom.  She also believes that this ICT learning tool will never be able to replace scientific fieldwork in real life situations (Galea, 2016).  I agree with Miss Galea’s point of view that EcoMuve is a good educational tool to use when teaching students science.  This is because it incorporates the three interrelated science strands including science inquiry skills, science as a human endeavour and science understanding.  These are incorporated into the activities that the students can engage in while working through this virtual learning tool (ACARA, 2009).  However I also believe that students will still benefit from real world situations such as doing their own scientific experiments and fieldwork and that ICTs are important educational tools to use alongside real world experiences, as ICTs should never fully replace real world resources and learning experiences.

 

References

ACARA.  (2009). Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Science.  Retrieved from

       http://www.acara.edu.au/verve/_resources/Australian_Curriculum_-

       _Science.pdf

 

Galea, A.  (2016).  EcoMUVE.  Retrieved March 16, 2016, from

        https://missgaleasblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/ecomuve/

 

Harvard Graduate School of Education.  (2015).  ecoMuve.  Retrieved March 16, 2016, from

       http://ecolearn.gse.harvard.edu/ecoMUVE/overview.php

Mindtools

Brainstorming.jpg

This week in week 3’s learning paths the idea of mindtools has been introduced.  While reading the Moodle book in this weeks learning paths it made me curious to learn more about mindtools.  Through further research I gained the new knowledge that mindtools are cognitive tools that are utilised to inspire and encourage learning and higher order thinking in students.  By using mindtools teachers and students both benefit in a positive way.  This is because digital technologies encourage a learning environment where more problem solving and active learning is occurring in the classroom.

The benefits of mindtools are that students learn with the digital technologies rather than from it.  This is because the activities the students are engaged in through the use of the mindtools provide the students with the opportunity to be responsible for their own learning.  Consequently mindtools encourage students to be self-reliant in their thinking and problem solving (THE Journal, 2005).  Some examples of mindtools include digital stories, concept maps, spreadsheets, databases and visualisation tools such as PowerPoints (teacherjohn68, 2010).

One of the questions asked this week is ‘how can ICT and Pedagogy be used?’  Mindtools are a good example of how ICT and Pedagogy can be used to encourage problem solving and higher order thinking.  Mindtools allow the students to see their own work visually and this helps to stimulate the children’s cognitive skills as they think of more questions to ask that help to further their learning.  These questions become educational tools that continue to stimulate their engagement and enthusiasm in learning (THE Journal, 2005).  Upon my research I also came across a couple of really great websites that provide examples of digital storytelling which is a type of mindtool.  These two websites provide examples of how to use digital storytelling with young children and can be accessed from here and here.

After writing this post I was reading through the blog posts on ERRYFERRYBLOG’S blog when I came across a post titled ‘Am I a “creative and productive user of technology”in my learning?” in this post it is stated that when ERRYFERRY has been on professional experience in the past and been in a circumstance when delivering information is tedious and boring that they usually tried to find a “fun” YouTube clip that could help the information be more appealing to learn.  I think that this is a good example of how ICT and Pedagogy can be used.  This example demonstrates that ICTs can be used in education to make learning more fun and help students to stay focused on learning.

References

Brainstorm [Image].  (2011).  Retrieved from http://philmckinney.com/archives/2013/05

       /brainstorming-for-fun-and-profit-5-tips-for-teams.html/hires-2-2

 

teacherjohn68.  (2010).  Mindtools for Learning.  Retrieved March 14, 2016, from

https://sites.google.com/site/mindtoolsforlearning/visualization

 

THE Journal.  (2005).  Using Mindtools in Education.  Retrieved March 14, 2016, from

https://thejournal.com/Articles/2005/04/01/Using-Mindtools-

       in-Education.aspx?Page=1

Gaining more knowledge about the copyright law

copyright.jpg

Following through week 2’s learning path activities for EDC3100 meant that I had to come to terms with what the copyright law really means.  What I understand and know about the copyright law is that it gives ownership to the creator over the things that they have created including music, stories and photographs etc and is utilized in order to prevent a person’s original work from being used without authorization.  This ownership gives the owner the right to replicate their work, to perform and distribute their work and exhibit their work to the public.  These rights mean that no one else can infringe these laws unless you have a Creative Commons License and give these rights up to another person voluntarily (Commonwealth of Australia, 2005).  Some interesting websites, which I found educative and helpful can be found here and here.  These websites contain information on the copyright laws within Australia.

After doing some further research on the copyright laws and reading Sarah Jensen’s blog titled ‘Copyright Misconceptions’ I too had to come to terms with the fact that I have also broken the copyright law and this is not something that I want to make a habit of.  Especially since I want to be a positive role model to young children in my role as a future teacher.  This mistake has shown me how easy it can be to break the copyright law without even realizing it.  As a result of this I want to ensure that now and into the future I do not break the copyright law in anything that I do.

When I first started my degree I was asked to make a YouTube video derived around a topic of my choice that may occur in the school environment such as bullying and unbeknownst to me I added some music to my YouTube video that contained the copyright logo.  This meant that the legal rights to this music was given to the creator of this music and I had not been authorized to use it.  The positive side to this story is that luckily I realized my mistake very quickly and found a website where you could add music to a YouTube video that hadn’t been labelled as copyright.  Thankfully I did this before I posted it online.

Before I wrote this post I read a post on Miss Galea’s blog titled ‘Copyright…a Dirty Word.’  This post can be found here.  In this post Miss Galea points out some interesting questions that include why are we not better educated on the copyright laws? how can we be allowed to break a copyright law without even knowing we have and why do we allow our children to do it?  These are all important questions that need to be addressed.  Perhaps since education is leading towards a more ICT based learning arena that we as future teachers need to look at educating ourselves, other teachers and education faculty as well as the students that come into our classrooms and their parents on the copyright laws to ensure that the illegal act of breaking a copyright law does not occur.

 

References

Commonwealth of Australia.  (2005).  Copyright Law in Australia.  Retrieved March

11,2016, from http://www.ict.griffith.edu.au/teaching/1611ICT/3601ICT

       /10Copyright+Law+in+Australia+-+A+Short+Guide+-+June+2005.pdf

 

Copyright logo [Image].  (2012).  Retrieved from http://www.ozdox.org/events/who-owns-

       what-copyright-and-the-documentary-filmmaker/